Are there such things as moral truths? How do we know what we should do? And does it matter? Constructivism states that moral truths are neither invented nor discovered, but rather are constructed by rational agents in order to solve practical problems. While constructivism has become the focus of many philosophical debates in normative ethics, meta-ethics and action theory, its importance is still to be fully appreciated. These new essays written by leading scholars define and assess this new approach in ethics, addressing such questions as the nature of constructivism, how constructivism improves our understanding of moral obligations, how it accounts for the development of normative practices, whether moral truths change over time, and many other topics. The volume will be valuable for advanced students and scholars of ethics and all who are interested in questions about the foundation of morality.
Carla Bagnoli is Professor of Theoretical Philosophy in the Department of Linguistic and Cultural Studies, University of Modena. She is editor of Morality and Emotions (2011).
Introduction Carla Bagnoli; 1. Moral scepticism, constructivism and the value of humanity Robert Stern; 2. How not to be an ethical constructivist: a critique of Korsgaard's neo-Kantian constitutivism William J. Fitzpatrick; 3. Kant's constructivism Oliver Sensen; 4. Meta-ethics and its discontents: a case study of Korsgaard Nadeem J. Z. Hussain and Nishi Shah; 5. Is constructivism an alternative to moral realism? David Copp; 6. Constructivism and practical knowledge Stephen Engstrom; 7. Constructivism about practical knowledge Carla Bagnoli; 8. Constructivism and particularism Mark LeBar; 9. Constructive complaints Thomas Baldwin; 10. Revising moral norms: pragmatism and the problem of perspicuous description Henry Richardson; Bibliography; Index.